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Author Topic: How to start a land-clearing business?  (Read 18616 times)

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Offline RAW

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How to start a land-clearing business?
« on: January 14, 2006, 06:30:39 PM »
I showed a friend of mine the Gyrotrac machines. 
He already runs an erosion control business for construction/development.

He's curious to know what it would take to start a land-clearing business.
What kind of insurance? permits?
What items need to be figured into the operating costs?
Machine maintenance (cutting teeth, track maintenance, oils, greases, fuel, ?, ?, ?)
Any information y'all can provide would be very helpful.

Thanks

Offline RAW

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2006, 11:54:42 PM »
Maybe a link?

A book suggestion?


Offline Faron

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2006, 08:04:48 AM »
Just off the top of my head, I'd think liability insurance needs would be similiar to using a dozer for land clearing.  Around here, I'd think that machine would adapt to maintaining pipeline and powerline right of ways.  Most pipeline and utility companies contract that work out around here.  Fuel cost and repairs would be a concern to me on a machine doing that kind of work.  I don't know how much good it would do to talk to someone already doing that kind of work, as they aren't likely to want to encourage more competition.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.  Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. - Ben Franklin

Offline RAW

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2006, 01:12:11 PM »
Yeah, my buddy is going to ask some of the contractors he's worked with, but . . . .you're right--I doubt they'd want to encourage him to get into it as their competition.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2006, 01:25:16 PM »
Most land clearing businesses here are loggers. Land clearing alone can be slow at times. At the moment even logging is slow.  ::)
Move'n on.

Offline bull

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2006, 03:46:18 PM »
Money !!! lots of money :D :D :D

Offline RAW

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2006, 04:04:02 PM »
After calling those GyroTrac folks, I would totally agree: lots of money.
Eek.  :o

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2006, 04:45:41 PM »
Like most businesses that revolve around primary producers (farm, forestry), your just working for finance companies. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline RAW

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2006, 06:23:37 PM »
So, how does a small crew with @ 200K in equipment plus the associated maintenance/operating cost make money??
What makes the difference between just breaking even and pulling a profit?


Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2006, 06:53:31 PM »
Clearing farmland is government subsidized or the farmer liquidates the woodlot to pay for the clearing. People who do clearing tell me it costs them $1600/acre. I know one guy that buys good forestland with hardwood, clears it and sells the farmland. Sometimes he has to sit on the land for awhile though. Meanwhile he's cutting someone elses woodlot. It's a cash flow thing, as long as she's flowing it's full steam ahead. When she stops flowing the finance company comes visiting. $200,000 won't get ya very far, most guys I know have $500,000 + in equipment because they are also loggers with their own logging trucks, besides the woods equipment. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline RAW

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2006, 07:12:58 PM »
My buddy (and hopefully I'll get included) is more interested in the property flipping realm.
Buying a wood-choked lot near a growing area, clear the lot to give it a much more pleasing appearance, then turn around and sell the lot for a profit.  And between those jobs, he could use the forest-mulcher to help with his erosion control business.

This guy is in a good position:  His erosion control stuff is in addition to a landscape design business (where he's an employee).  So, he has experience drawing up plans for subdividing lots and getting county permits for the new plans.

I'm surprised more people on here haven't chimed in about their businesses.  I guess there's the fear of giving away "trade secrets." 

Offline Faron

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2006, 11:51:49 PM »
I'm thinking most of us here are more geared toward selective cutting and timber improvement cuts rather than straight out land clearing.  Most wooded areas here any more aren't suited to agriculture.  It does seem everyone wants to put a house in the nearest woods, though. :(
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.  Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. - Ben Franklin

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2006, 02:36:06 PM »
Faron, I've noticed that to in some states. Everyone builds in under an oak forested canopy. Up here, people want a long view and minimum tree cover to block it. I can see 60 miles in one direction and less in other directions because of the landscape, not the trees. I'm surrounded by fields.I have alot of tree around my house though, but my view isn't blocked looking out. The neighbors' view is blocked looking in. Too many nosey neighbors with binoculars. I don't know what they think they're gonna see, unless it's me take'n a leek around the corner. ;D :D :D :D
Move'n on.

Offline Reddog

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2006, 09:21:39 PM »
Around here all the clearing is done by the const company. They just mow down 40 acres and run it all thru tub grinders. A week or less done, bare ground. A few days later all the big stuff is in digging for sewers and roads.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2006, 07:03:27 AM »
Around here all the clearing is done by the const company. They just mow down 40 acres and run it all thru tub grinders. A week or less done, bare ground. A few days later all the big stuff is in digging for sewers and roads.

There's money in that wood son.  You just ground up and spit out $50,000 of my profit. :o
Move'n on.

Offline Ed

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Re: How to start a land-clearing business?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2006, 09:12:54 AM »
RAW,
Another income avenue for a land clearing business is pipeline & powerline maintaince. There are 3 natural gas piplines about 1/4 mile behind my house. Every couple of years a company comes thru with a HydroAxe & decimates the sections that aren't farmland.

If you have never seen a HydroAxe in operation, it's unreal!!

Ed


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